Tag Archives: help for small businesses

Five Affordable Ways to Market Your Small Business


1. Company Website:

A website will do much more than sell services or widgets. A good internet site will tell prospective buyers what they will need to know about your business and how your product or service will resolve their problems. It is not vital to have a big and elaborate site. What is essential is that you supply information that is useful to the visitor in their decision-making. It doesn’t require lots of pictures or animations or flashing information. It has to be intuitive, simple to navigate, clear and easy to comprehend, and it needs to answer inquiries from the perspective client’s viewpoint. A web site can also be utilized to keep current clients up-to-date with new products and services offered. Hire a reputable web design company in your local area.

Having a mobile website helps make it quick for your potential clients to find information pertaining to your products or services right on their mobile device! These mobile web designs are simple to surf, quick to download, are very legible and custom built for a mobile phone screen! Did you know that over 70% of the Earth’s population currently owns a mobile device? Mobile web is growing 8 times more quickly than desktop based internet. Mobile devices outnumber laptops and desktop computers four to one. Over 750,000 mobile phone are being activated per day! Mobile searches grew four hundred percent last year and fifty percent of all searches are done on mobile phone. 70% of queries result in action within 1 hour. We design mobile websites that are meant for mobile devices and smartphone browsers. discover more about our Cleveland web design services.

2. Word-of-Mouth:

Word-of-mouth might be one of the most highly overlooked marketing tools, but the truth is that any organization, large or small, benefits from the positive word-of-mouth produced by a great reputation. potential customers that come to your company through the suggestion of a good friend or colleague are more likely to become clients and to stay loyal clients. How can you build word-of-mouth? To start, deal with your customers well. Give them reasons to want to inform others about your business, product or service. Be a part of networking groups and Chambers of Commerce. And finally, ask your present customers to inform others about their experience with your company. Just be sure it was a great encounter!

3. Press Releases:

Use press releases to inform people about latest developments in your company, or announce recent accomplishments, announce new products or services, an award your company has won, a big contract received, a new employee or employee promotion, and the list goes on and on. The benefit is that press releases are free and, depending on the publication, spread the word to a large target audience.

4. Direct Mail:

Direct mail is a cost-effective way to target your advertising. Create or buy a list of prospects that match your target audience. Develop the list. Always be looking for avenues to add to your database of potential customers. Don’t erase names because they didn’t buy the first time you sent them something. Add to your list. Then mail to that list regularly. Articles to mail:

  •  Postcards. Postcards are affordable to make and mail and get the message across rapidly. You could use postcards to make business announcements similar to a press release, but specific to your audience.
  • Letters. Another highly overlooked marketing tool, letters to current clients could help develop loyalty. Letters to potential buyers could implement a very specific targeted message. And letters, in general, convey a feeling of personal service.

5. Niche Advertising:

Find out what directories, trade and specialized publications, online and offline, are related to your profession, product or service and get listed.

Search for opportunities to promote in these specialised venues. The more your concept is targeted to your specific audience, the better the return on your investment will be. Contact www.ClevelandWebsiteDesigner.com for all your website design needs.

Tell a Story to promote you and your company; it’s Powerful!

Stories can show your dedication, attention to detail, leadership, independence, researching ability, creativity or problem-solving inclination. It’s important to remember that employers want well rounded staff so make sure they see evidence of of all the skills you have to offer. Go over your past work history and identify the stories within each achievement. Now tell them to others.

Always remember the moral to your story: the point the story tells about you (and your company), your skills and achievements. And remember, yours is a never-ending story!

Here are one or two examples:

1 Your conversion of old equipment into new uses shows you can think outside the box and are resourceful.
2 The non-financial ways you recognized your staff shows your creativity and your abilities as a leader as you demonstrate your understanding of how to motivate others.
3 The weekly internal E-letter you created for employees not only improved morale, it gave evidence of your strong communication skills.
4 The canned food drive youstarted at your last job not only showed your commitment to your community, it also raised visibility for the company and improved their public relations.
5 By forming a lunchtime jogging club you helped bring employees from different departments together while improving the health, and mental health, of employees who participated. Your leadership and team building skills were further evidenced when your runners club formed a team for the local marathon.
6 Your multilingual skills helped aright a project suffering from miscommunication between subsidiaries from overseas. Not only could you translate phrases and idioms of speech, your insight into cultural differences bridged a gap and corrected a wayward project.

More than showcasing your knowledge of languages, you demonstrated the ability to liaison between different groups, negotiate and turn an important project around.
Here are afew more examples:
• Your analysis of existing processing statements and identification of cost savings
• Your experience with a variety of systems and payment methods: credit, debit, phone and gift cards, etc.
• Your skill in designing billing systems that cross borders and time zones and convert currencies

Best yet, this Story Tell / Story Sell method works for sales, management, consultants, meeting planners, entrepreneurs and even politicians. Story Telling training will give you the confidence to go forward with this method and enable you to review your past work history and identify the stories within each accomplishment. Read here for more information. Now tell them to others. Don’t forget the moral to your story: the point the story tells about you (and your firm), your skills and credits.

And remember, yours is a never-ending story!

For Your Small Business’s Success

The Best Methods of Raising Your Small Business’s Success

smallbusin2Making the decision to start a business of your own can be incredibly exciting. This is a natural response because you’re going to be filled with all sorts of feelings that you haven’t experienced as of yet. It’s possible to feel like there is more control in your life because you truly will have more control than ever before. If you want to make the most of your hard work and dedication, then get educated about small business operations. Choose those things that are the most applicable to your business and then use them. You can help your own small business with the following tips.

Knowing that you want to start a small business but not feeling sure of all of the details is perfectly normal. You know that it’s possible to make web based businesses and traditional businesses.

Building businesses both online and offline makes this even more appealing. The fact is that it is quite a smart idea to create an online presence for your offline business–regardless of what it might be. When you’re new to this, you just don’t know what you can do online. Every day millions of traditional business owners are quite adept at using the Internet to gather leads. Online local search marketing is also incredibly popular and widely used right now. Offline businesses need a lot more planning than online businesses. At the same time, the more serious and complex web based businesses might suffer more if not enough planning goes into them. Either way, make the time to plan out a new business, no matter what kind of business it is or how modest its beginnings might be. There are tremendous benefits from doing so and it is in your best interest. What you are going to find is that you can focus better on your goals when you lay out your tasks. If you are able to do this, you are going to see things that you might have missed, Planning is part of success–it is done for a reason. So do not ignore making this for your business even if you are an affiliate marketer.

Yes, there is great excitement and hope when you decide to create a small business offline or on the web. It’s hard to beat that energy that comes with something new that holds a lot of promise. From here all you need to do is get started so that you can figure out what you need to do. There are many variables that determine what you need to do whether you will be online, offline or both. Take things a step at a time and find information that talks about this. It’s easy to think that there are thousands of things that need to be done right now but this isn’t true. Focus on the bigger picture and work through your business model to set up some workable goals. There is no surprise that even small tips like these can have a powerful effect on your business. These tips are based upon many peoples’ experiences and they can be quite helpful. This kind of information can prevent you from making costly mistakes, as well.

Is Obama’s Heavy Regulation Pace Crippling Black Business?

I am sure as a black President; Obama was expected to do so much for blacks, but we can understand his reaction from that expectation.        In my opinion, I think he did a pretty good job in distancing himself from doing anything evident for black people; fearing criticism, wild news from media, and tension that will arise not only from citizens, but his fellow politicians in Washington, DC.                                        Thus, it would come as no surprise if CEO s like Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) says “The small business goal by the federal government has not been met in any of the six years of the Obama administration. His heavy regulation pace is crippling us. His administration is not good for business and especially black business”.   What do you think?                                                      You can leave us your comments below after reading today’s article from Fortune Magazine with the CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Harry Alford.      http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2014/04/03/america-got-a-cold-and-black-businesses-got-pneumonia/

You can also check out these opportunities on Trade Missions with the NBCC taking advantage of the recent Free Trade Agreement to:-  Columbia May 18 to 22, 2014 and to Cuba November 2014. Join them, especially if you are a black business.  http://www.nationalbcc.org/

‘America got a cold and black businesses got pneumonia’

Harry Alford, CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, talks about encouraging black-owned businesses — and why he thinks Paul Ryan is right about inner-city culture.

By Brandon Southward

FORTUNE — Harry Alford is a longtime champion of black-owned businesses owners. A veteran of corporations such as Procter & Gamble (PG) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Alford about two decades ago dedicated himself to expanding opportunities for black entrepreneurs. Like many advocates for small to medium-sized businesses, he offers a passionate argument against excessive government regulation — and an endorsement of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) recent remarks on inner cities and the culture and value of work.

Fortune: When did you launch the National Black Chamber of Commerce?

Alford: It was launched May 23, 1993. My wife and I launched it after a successful launching of a local black chamber in Indianapolis. It caught the attention of people from around the nation and it occurred to us that a national black chamber was needed.

 So, what is the state of African Americans in the business world?

There is a positive trend. Black business owners are the fastest-growing segment for business ownership. We grew at a rate of 60% from 2002-2007 according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and there about 1.9 million businesses currently owned by African Americans in the U.S. That’s about 7.3% of all small businesses, which is small but progress is being made.

What would you say are the biggest impediments to African Americans becoming business owners?

You know it’s the normal stuff that holds back more people from becoming business owners like capital access, cronyism by existing businesses, and a lack of technical assistance. And this isn’t an impediment, but we also did get harder than most during the recession. America got a cold and black businesses got pneumonia.

Can more be done to inspire or encourage more African Americans to become business owners?

The need for job creation in African American communities. There is a calling for those who dare to take risks for the sake of future rewards. There has been outreach within their networks like their family, colleges, churches, associations, etc. You know if you look at engineering, IT, and construction management there is a great amount of young talented African American entrepreneurs.

What are some areas where you see bright spots?

Well, engineering, IT, construction management compose a great amount of talented entrepreneurs. The ingredients to new entrepreneurs are retiring professionals, college graduates and military officers are the key ingredients to new entrepreneurs. They have acquired unique skill sets and can apply that to starting a business.

So things are …

Well let me say this, black business demographics are not at parity with the mainstream. We do $136 billion in revenue, if we were at parity that would be $1.4 trillion in revenue. We employ 910,000 workers. If we were at parity that would be 7.1 million workers. Also, we have 1.9 million firms — at parity that would be 3.3 million firms. We still have a long ways to go.

I’d like to get your thoughts on President Obama and his policies towards business.

President Obama has a strong love for construction unions. Construction unions have a fierce hatred for small business, particularly black, Hispanic, and woman-owned firms. Consequently, black contractors are doing much less federal work than any other president since Eisenhower. SBA-backed loans to blacks have been cut by more than half. The small business goal by the federal government has not been met in any of the six years of the Obama administration. His heavy regulation pace is crippling us. His administration is not good for business and especially black business.

Recently Paul Ryan referred to the culture of the inner city and in particular men in the inner city not wanting to work or value hard work. I’d like to know your reaction to his comments? Do you agree?

Yes, I would agree. I see it in the South Side and West Side of Chicago; South Central L.A., all of Detroit, etc. It is one of the reasons my wife and I started the NBCC — to economically empower African American communities through entrepreneurship and self-help.

How To Guarantee Your Small Business Success

Small business owners lose control because they don’t take responsibility.
The small business rate of survival after 5 years within the retail market is 41% based on Small Business Trends. Meaning 59% fail.
The survival rate for the services business is much more dismal with a low 36%.
With all the small businesses that start daily you have to wonder what’s the difference between the 59% that fail and the 41% that succeed?
One of the reasons is control.

The more control a small business owner has over their internal daily business functions and external variables that effect it every day the greater opportunity they have to succeed.

But how would you manage to control circumstances that may seem outside your control? By taking responsibility for them instead of making excuses. Or even worse just throwing up both hands and proclaiming that is just the way it is.
That never solved anything. And will also help you lose your grip on control over your company.
We give away control faster than a Hare Krishna offering flowers in an airport. Every time we refuse to take responsibility for an action or circumstance connected with our business we lose some control.

There’s lots of help for small businesses inside the bag of control we give up every time we don’t take responsibility for things. Yet we often don’t chase after it.

Control equals responsibility. The more responsibility you take for everything that occurs in your business the more control you will have over anything that happens inside your business.
It is easy to make excuses when things go bad. The weather was horrible, the wholesale prices increased but I can’t boost my retails, the foot traffic was slow over the holidays, it’s challenging to get good employees, the advertising didn’t perform, and so on….

There is pressure to perform on a daily basis to make a small company run. When things aren’t going right the pressure begins to add up and a good release is stepping away from the issues and blaming them on something beyond our control.
But when you do this you lose more control over our business. And more control is what you want, especially when times are difficult.
It’s not as if these circumstances don’t effect businesses every day, they do. It really is how we handle them.
Do they control you, or would you control them?

There exists a parallel to selling here that is certainly quite obvious. In selling, behind every no there’s a potential to address precisely why the consumer said no and turn it into a yes.

Exactly the same exists with circumstances that effect your small business. If you take responsibility for issues that effect your small business it gives you the chance to take action to correct them.

Odds are… if you are making a list of excuses, you’re not trying to put together a workaround or perhaps a fix.

Take control! Put together a plan of action to solve each dilemma, reduce each problem, or innovate and create a new solution that makes the challenge obsolete.

Then you’ll have more control over your business and not become another small company casualty.